Etching is generally done for personalising a piece of glass or acrylic. The professionals normally etch on thermoplastics either by sandblasting, or with the help of a rotary tool. While use of rotary tool requires someone with steady hands, sandblasting can be done rather quickly and without much hassle. In addition to these methods, etching is also performed with a special kind of cream. At times, it may take more than one attempt to achieve satisfying results, but experienced professionals habituated to working on Perspex signage in Sydney can get the job done with fewer tries.
Before taking a look at the different methods of etching, let’s see what are the various tools needed for carrying out the procedures. The primary requirements include vinyl, X-acto knife, transfer paper, etching cream, rotary tool, sandblaster and design. Besides these, the professional may also require a pen and some tape.
Method 1 : Etching With Sandblaster Or Cream
First, a piece of vinyl is placed carefully over the portion that needs to be etched. Next, the design is transferred onto it by using the transfer paper to trace the pattern. Now the lines transferred on the vinyl are followed using an X-acto knife and the unnecessary pieces are peeled away. The professional begins etching either by applying a special cream or with a sandblaster. The cream is allowed to stand for as long as recommended by the manufacturer. Finally, the stencil is removed in order to wash the surface using mild soap and water.
Method 2 : Etching With A Tool
The main requisite of this method is an etcher or a rotary tool. To begin with, the design that needs to be etched on the acrylic surface is chosen. After that, it is taped behind the PMMA sheet. Here, the professional may or may not choose to mark the outline of the design using a marker. Next, the rotary tool or etcher is turned on at low RPM and made to move along the outline of the design for completing the task.
That’s how plastic fabrication specialists etch on the surface of acrylic materials. However, the quality of the work done depends on how much experienced and skilled the professional is. An amateur can completely ruin the acrylic by doing an inferior quality etching on it. Therefore, it is necessary to be careful about who is entrusted with the task.